Get on with Crossrail 2 right away says Adonis

Crossrail 2 will keep London moving and work on it should start straight away, says the conclusions of the National Infrastructure Commission’s second report, Transport for a world city.

Launching the report in London on 10 March 2016, Lord Adonis, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), said: “London needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible. A new North-East to South-West line would help relieve severe overcrowding across some of the busiest Network Rail stations in the country. We should get on with it right away, and have the line open by 2033.”

Back in October 2015, the NIC was asked to review the strategic case for additional large scale transport infrastructure in the capital, with particular reference to proposals for a new north-east to south-west ‘Crossrail 2’ line. The Commission’s central finding is that Crossrail 2 should be taken forward as a priority. 

The report says that funding should be made available now to develop the scheme fully with the aim of submitting a hybrid bill by autumn 2019. This would enable Crossrail 2 to open in 2033.

Transport for a world city makes a number of practical recommendations to this end:

Firstly, it says that sufficient development funds should be released for Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to prepare a hybrid Bill for Crossrail 2, beginning with a revised business case to be submitted by March 2017

Secondly, in developing the business case, the report says it is crucial that TfL and DfT identify clear proposals to maximise its benefits and increase deliverability. They should:

  • Identify proposals to phase costs and increase affordability – one option would be to delay the north-western branch to New Southgate, which could reduce costs of the initial scheme in the 2020s by around £4 billion.
  • Deliver a funding plan in which London contributes its fair share to the project – more than half the total for the scheme.
  • Develop a strategy to maximise private sector involvement in the development and funding of stations and their surrounding areas.
  • Develop a strategy to ensure the construction of at least 200,000 homes along the route.

Lord Adonis commented: “By the 2030s London will be a megacity of more than 10 million people. Even allowing for planned investment and the imminent arrival of the East-West Crossrail line, the capital will grind to a halt unless significant further improvements are made. That’s why London needs Crossrail 2 as quickly as possible. 

“The Commission has identified four crucial ways in which the scheme can be developed to ensure that we maximise benefits and increase deliverability: phasing parts of the scheme, fair funding with London paying more than half the cost, private financing to help build stations and, crucially, a clear, transformative strategy to turn the proposed 200,000 new homes into a reality.

“There is no good reason to delay. Crossrail 2 will help keep London moving, create hundreds of thousands of homes and fire regeneration across the city form North-East to South-West.”

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